[Ads-l] Origin of term curate's egg

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 1 01:32:17 UTC 2018

> Thanks, Garson!  Very nice!  But remember that for optimists like
>Punch's curate, the egg at that breakfast-table was half good.

Yes, in "Punch" the curate proclaims "parts of it are excellent!"
In Judy "some parts of it are very good".

Date: 21 May 1895
Newspaper: Huddersfield Chronicle
Newspaper Location: Yorkshire, England
Quote Page 4, Column 4
Database: British Newspaper Archive

[Begin excerpt]
Scene: Bishop's breakfast table.— Bishop (to timid curate on a visit):
Dear me, I'm afraid your egg's not good. Timid Curate: Oh, yes, my
lord, really—er—some parts of it are very good.
[End excerpt]

Google Books contains issues of "Judy", but I have not yet found the
matching text directly in "Judy". The issue might be missing in GB, or
the OCR might defective.

Below is the 1875 precursor:

Date: July 26, 1875
Periodical: The Academy
Start Page 651, Quote Page 652, Column 2
Book Review of: "Our Bishops and Deans" by the Rev. F. Arnold (late of
Christ Church Oxford)

[Begin excerpt]
Without pledging our credence, we could afford a grin to the story of
the "young Levite" who at a bishop's breakfast-table, was so "umble as
to decline the replacement of a bad egg by a good one with a "No thank
you, my Lord, it's good enough for me;" . . .
[End excerpt]


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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